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Old March 15, 2011, 07:49 AM   #1
Magnum Wheel Man
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picked up a pepper box after last gun show...

I attend one local gun show a year & get a couple tables... selling items I no longer need & try to buy something new with my new found funds...

I had Mrs. Magnum cover my tables for a while & did a fast lap... found a nice S&W #2 with red grips... diecent price but I hadn't quite sold enough stuff to buy it... & it sold by the time I had

anyway I didn't find anything I just had to have by the end of the show, so I picked up a pepper box my buddy was trying to get me to buy... a C Sharpes patent 32 Rim Fire gun in "good' functional shape...

this got me thinking... was this gun older than my other early black powder cartridge revolvers, or just a creative way around the S&W bored through cylinder patent... I don't have the gun here, but I think the patent date is mid 1850's

I've yet to introduce my new pepper box to my camera, but could do pics soon... anyone collect & or shoot these guns ??? I do have some Navy Arms 32 short rim fire cartridges, I'm thinking about cutting a good portion of the weight off the bullets & trying a gun full just to see how everything functions... the firing pin rotates on the hammer so each shot fires another barrel...
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Old March 15, 2011, 09:09 AM   #2
Winchester_73
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I don't have any but I know of them and I have a friend that collects them. IIRC they were in 22 rim, 30 rim or 32 rim. Nice ones command a decent dollar.

When I saw the title of this thread, I should have known it was the magnum wheel man. Maybe try to have this pepperbox converted to 327 magnum. Then you would have something
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Old March 15, 2011, 11:10 AM   #3
Scorch
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Quote:
this got me thinking...
Uh oh
Quote:
was this gun older than my other early black powder cartridge revolvers, or just a creative way around the S&W bored through cylinder patent
I am not sure, but it was probably the patent date on the original cap & ball design. The S&W patent is for a bored-through cylinder for a revolver (1860s???), pepperbox pistols pre-date or are contemporary with Colt's Patterson design, i.e. they have been around longer than cartridges. The old Hopkins & Allen design goes back to the late 1840s, IIRC, so it's in that early period of cap and ball firearms. Again, I'm not sure, but I would surmise pepperbox pistols fell out of favor because it was cheaper to make a frame and one barrel than 4/5/6 barrels, and the results were lighter and less bulky.
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Old March 15, 2011, 12:42 PM   #4
James K
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I assume the gun is the four barrel Sharps which is not a traditional pepperbox since the barrel cluster does not turn, the internal firing pin does.

There were several versions, made from 1859 to 1874, all basically the same. They really were not S&W "evasions" since the S&W (Rollin White) patent covered bored through cylinders in revolvers. (Whether a true pepperbox with bored through chambers would have been an infringement I don't know, but there weren't many of them.)

The Sharps pistols were compact, in spite of the four barrels, and were quite popular even after the revolver became dominant. But the mechanism worked best with rimfire cartridges where the firing pin had to move only in a small circle; attempts to adapt it to center fire were not too successful.

As with most multi-barrel pistols, the major problem was getting all the barrels to shoot to the same place, and Sharps never made any real effort to solve that problem, considering the gun a short range defense weapon. FWIW, I have fired a number of originals and a few repros, and never found one that would keep all its shots in a 10" circle at 10 yards, but a card table is not that big.

Jim
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Old March 16, 2011, 05:53 AM   #5
Magnum Wheel Man
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thanks for the info guys... this one is functional & in good shape... weather I'll shoot it or not is still questionable...
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